New blood test to diagnose cancer years before appearance of first symptoms

Today, cancer has become a leading health burden globally, as with each year tens of millions of people are dying in agony and pain. Scientists are trying to stop these sufferings with the development of a new cancer test for faster detection before its symptomatic expression.

So far it has been prominently apparent that for many cancers early detection and timely treatment has been very challenging and are few of the primary reasons for the low rate of survivals. In this regard, early diagnosis is considered to be the key, after which scientists around the corner of the globe are working. A new blood test for detecting cancer in this regard can offer hope to millions of people due to its simple and more effective diagnosis.

New study by John Hopkins School of Medicine

faster cancer detection through blood

A team of scientists from John Hopkins School of Medicine recently conducted a study with approximately 1000 participants and demonstrated the ability of the new cancer test to accurately detect early symptoms of cancer with high sensitivity. The results of the study have recently been published in the Journal of Science. Besides another biotech giant in California, the GRAIL has invested more than a billion dollars to develop this new way of faster cancer detection through blood. The scientific advisory of the company is analyzing all three billion base pairs of the human genome through genomic sequencing, in order to develop the said new cancer test.

Factual Study Analysis

Scientists are trying to build a reference database by decoding cancer-related mutations from the blood samples of people with more than 20 different forms of cancer. The negative controls are of course from people who are apparently cancer free. The study further plans to enroll around 15,000 people, out of which 10,000 have already been investigated.

With this huge database as a reference, the experts are analyzing blood samples from 878 confirmed cancer patients and 580 cancer-free patients with this new cancer test. The mutations will be matched with the reference database to confirm the cancer-specific pattern. The data was obtained through three different assays i.e. genetic mutation, abnormal gene duplication and epigenetic changes due to adapted environmental factors. With these investigations, scientists are trying to understand which data can help in spotting early cancer.

So far with the analysis of data, experts could confirm that assay based on analysis of epigenetic changes of DNA could confirm cancer in 65% of the patients suffering from five lethal forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer and oesophageal cancer. Surprisingly, in the said 65% of patients, cancer had not spread to other organs and hence confirmed its ability towards early detection. Moreover, the detection rate in case of metastatic cancer has been found to be 95% accurate, as expected earlier.

The study also looked for false positivity in all three forms of detection systems and found to be very low. The data confirmed that out of 580 people, who were cancer-free, only two were tested to be positive.

Conclusively the new cancer test has been analyzed to be 77% accurate in detection symptoms of lymphoma and 73% in confirming myeloma. The bowel cancer was confirmed in two out of three patients. The accuracy for spotting early lung cancer was confirmed to be 59% and that of the head as well as neck cancer was almost 56%.

Coping up with spotting early diagnosis

breast cancer

With this new detection system helping millions of people with the early diagnosis, some practical ways are suggested by experts to allow the best decision towards the treatment. The points that are to be considered are as follows:

·        Understand your diagnosis

It is quite obvious that diagnosis of cancer with the new cancer test will be shocking, but it is important to cope up with it through factual information. Thus, it is advisable to get immediate expert’s advice for the right information and right treatment protocol.

·        Be more open about it

Depression

Depression and anxiety are found to be the two immediate outcomes of a cancer diagnosis with the new cancer test. The primary reason for this depression is many unknown myths about cancer and its common equation with death. In this regard, it is always beneficial to have a good supporting network around you, in the form of friends and family. This will help you in locating people who were in the similar situation and would be able to give you the right information and right treatment assistance. Probably you can join social media group with a similar indication to get better information.

·        Acceptance is the key

With the positive cancer diagnosis, grief and anger are the natural and quite obvious reflexes. However, it is important to accept the fact and work upon it. Experts suggest maintaining a journal and writing down your plan of action, as to how you are going to come up with the situation. You need to write down your financials, treatment plants, experts suggestions and more importantly your feelings, in order to let it process out of your mind.

Do not ever set back your life by cancer. You need to understand that it is in your body and not in your mind. With your strength and willpower, nothing is impossible, not even a complete cure for cancer. Experts suggest doing things that can be enjoyed.

In fact, early cancer detection can be helpful in complete eradication of its spread to other organs either through surgery or through some well-proven systemic therapies.

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